Global candy giant Mars has reached a deal to acquire another private food company, Kind, at a reported $5-billion valuation, according to Forbes.
What Happened: Mars is best-known for its lineup of candy and chocolate. Kind is a maker of healthy snack bars.
Kind was founded by Daniel Lubetzky in 2004 after investing $100,000 of his own money. Retail giant Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) started selling Kind bars in 2007, but the brand was dropped the following year, as Kind didn't provide sufficient tracking and monitoring, according to Forbes.
Kind was reintroduced in Walmart stores in 2013 and expanded to other outlets over the years.
Mars bought a 40% stake in Kind in 2017 for an undisclosed amount. The deal appears to have helped Lubetzky become a billionaire.
Related Link: BMO Has A Sweeter Tooth For Hershey
The New York Times estimates Kind's sales to be $1.5 billion. The private company didn't disclose sales data in the press release announcing the acquisition. The company did say it has a presence in 35 countries.
Snack Companies Going Healthy: Mars' acquisition is unlikely to notably move the financial needle given its estimated $37 billion in sales. But the deal is consistent with the recent trend of snack companies repositioning their food portfolio to include healthy options.
For example, PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) acquired baked fruit and vegetable company Bare Snacks in 2018 and bought PopCorners maker BFY Brands in 2019.
Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) acquired ONE Brands in 2019, a maker of low-sugar, high-protein snacks. ONE Brands' 2019 revenue wasn't disclosed, but similar to Mars, it is likely a small fraction of Hershey's $7.98 billion sales in 2019.
Most recently, Oreo parent company Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is reportedly on the hunt to acquire multiple healthy snack brands through 2025. The iconic snackmaker reported 2019 revenue of around $26 billion.